Diet

10 Dinner Foods to Avoid

Dinner Foods to Avoid

 

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it breaks our eight-plus-hour overnight fast. Did you know that evening meals can affect our health? The wrong food and drink for the last meal or snack of the day can disrupt sleep length and quality. We’re tired and unproductive after an irregular night’s sleep.

However, chronic sleep deprivation can impair our ability to process information, make decisions, and maintain relationships with partners, family, and coworkers. It can lead to poor lifestyle choices and even heart attacks and accidents. We may gain weight overnight if we eat in the evening.

Here are the foods to avoid and enjoy in the hours before night!

1. chocolate

Most individuals like chocolate bars. As we saw with fizzy drinks, sugar can disrupt sleep and cause chronic lifestyle diseases, especially if eaten before bedtime.

Chocolate naturally includes caffeine, which disrupts sleep and makes us sleepy and sluggish the next day. Darker chocolate has more caffeine.

More! Theobromine, a stimulant, makes chocolate taste nice. However, eating chocolate before night can keep us awake. Caffeine sensitivity can make this worse for sleep.

Summary: Chocolate contains sugar, caffeine, and theobromine, which might cause weight gain.

2. Spices

Curry, chili, and other spicy meals can disrupt sleep for numerous reasons. First, they can cause acid reflux and indigestion that inhibit sleep.

If we have a large spicy meal in the evening and lay down before it’s entirely digested, the stomach acid working hard to digest a heavy meal can go higher and cause heartburn, which again prevents us from getting decent sleep.

Finally, consuming hot, spicy foods raises our body temperature, which might disrupt sleep. Thus, spicy food should be eaten early in the evening.

Why Eating Late At Night Is Bad? - ...

Summary: Hot spicy meals can cause acid reflux, indigestion, heartburn, and body temperature increases that disrupt sleep.

3. Coffee

Coffee disrupts our sleep-wake cycle, making it the worst evening beverage. Caffeine stimulates the brain by inhibiting adenosine receptors. Adenosine causes tiredness when these receptors aren’t inhibited.

Coffee boosts daytime alertness and productivity. We can’t sleep if we drink more than four cups a day, ideally before midday.

“Consuming caffeine six hours before night lowered total sleep time by one hour,” one study revealed. We wake up exhausted the next day and drink more coffee, repeating the cycle.

Summary: Coffee is a healthy stimulant with caffeine. If we drink too much late in the day, our brains will stay “turned on” to daytime mode, disrupting our sleep.

4. Salty treats

Crisps, pretzels, salted nuts, and popcorn are ideal snacks for non-sweet tooths. They also disrupt sleep.

An intriguing study discovered that consuming a salty snack before bed delayed bedtime and woke individuals multiple times during the night. Deep sleep, when we truly relax, is vital. To get healthy sleep, we require restorative REM sleep when our brain activity increases and we start to dream. This study discovered that salty foods can induce a deep sleep that prevents REM sleep, leaving us drowsy and unrested.

Summary: Studies show that eating salty snacks and food in the evening can disrupt sleep for two to three hours per night.

5. Soda

Drinking sodas, colas, and other sugary drinks before night might cause weight gain. They often include caffeine, especially cola, which keeps us awake—not good before bed.

Studies reveal that people who sleep less than five hours a night are more prone to drink sugary, caffeinated drinks than those who get the required seven to eight hours. Fizzy drinks impair sleep, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.

Summary: Sugar-sweetened, caffeinated drinks should be avoided in the evening since they keep us alert, make us fall asleep later, stay asleep for less time, wake up more often, and raise our risk of chronic disease.

6. Greasy foods

Saturated fat-rich foods like takeout, deep-fried dishes, and some ready meals, as well as red and processed meats, strain our digestive systems.

These foods require a lot of energy to digest, which tells the brain we’re still awake and disrupts sleep.

A high-fat dinner causes us to wake up more and spend less time in restorative, dream-state REM sleep, according to sleep research. Acid reflux can disrupt sleep and change how we breathe while sleeping.

Summary: Late-night greasy, high-fat foods can impair sleep. Studies reveal that high-fat diets disrupt sleep more than low-fat diets.

7. Alcohol

After a difficult day, it can be tempting to drink wine. We might then go to bed and fall asleep immediately. Right? Possibly…

Alcohol causes cortisol release. Even if we feel calm, we’re actually more agitated. High cortisol levels can lead to weight gain, inflammation, and chronic conditions like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Alcohol may help us fall asleep faster, but it reduces our REM sleep. We’ll feel drained the next day.

Summary: Alcohol induces sleep faster but not REM sleep. It releases cortisol, which causes weight gain and sickness.

8. Diuretics

Water-rich diuretic diets increase urination. Diuretic foods before bed may keep us up at night, affecting our sleep quality.

Cucumbers, asparagus, beetroots, celery, citrus fruits, watermelon, and cranberries diuretic. They’re also low-calorie, nutrient-dense foods.

If you’re going to the bathroom a lot at night, try eating these items at lunch instead of dinner. Drink most of your eight glasses of water before 8 pm.

Summary: Cucumbers, celery, and watermelon are diuretics, so eat them during the day.

9. Ice-cream

Ice cream and other creamy sweets and cakes are delicious late-night desserts. However, high fat and sugar content can affect sleep.

High-sugar, high-fat dairy takes time to digest. We’ll still use energy to digest them if we eat them before bed. You know how hard it is to sleep on a full stomach, so save these delicacies for weekend lunch!

Summary: High-sugar, high-fat pastries are hard to digest and can disrupt sleep.

10. Sugars

White bread and pasta prepared from processed wheat without the wheatgerm are refined carbs. Wheatgerm adds minerals and color to unprocessed brown bread and pasta.

Sugary meals and drinks are refined carbohydrates. These foods have a high GI because the intestine breaks them down into simple sugars. High-GI foods quickly boost blood sugar, which is deposited as fat.

Avoiding or limiting these meals is healthy, and eating them before bedtime when we can’t burn them off will worsen our waistlines and body fat.

Summary: High-GI refined carbs quickly release simple sugars into the blood. Sugar is stored as fat and used for energy.

This sleep-interrupting, waistline-increasing meals are not the end! These items are great for dinner…

 

1. Magnesium-rich meals

Magnesium helps us relax and fall asleep by supporting brain and body relaxation. It activates the calm-inducing parasympathetic nervous system.

This mineral controls melatonin and parasympathetic nervous system neurotransmitters. Magnesium relaxes nerves by binding to brain GABA receptors. It’s crucial for sleep.

Wholewheat, quinoa, spinach, avocados, almonds, cashew nuts, and unsalted peanuts are magnesium-rich.

Summary: Wholewheat brown bread, pasta, quinoa, and cashew nuts are magnesium-rich. This mineral activates brain relaxation receptors, preparing the body for sleep.

2. Melatonin-rich food

Melatonin, secreted by the pineal gland in the brain, is linked to our circadian rhythms, or internal body clock, which are regulated by day and night cycles.

When it becomes darker, our body creates more melatonin. When it gets lighter, it produces less. Thus, optimal sleep requires melatonin.

Melatonin-rich meals help our bodies produce more melatonin at night. Eggs, milk, salmon, sardines, almonds, pistachios, and unsalted peanuts are examples. Goji berries and tart cherry juice contain melatonin.

Summary: Melatonin regulates sleep-wake cycles daily. Tart cherry juice, goji berries, eggs, milk, and fatty seafood boost melatonin.

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